History

Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit (JFS) came into being as two local relief organizations—the Hebrew Ladies Sewing Circle and the Self Help Circle—joined in a commitment to meet the needs of the local Jewish community.  JFS incorporated in 1928, with the specific mission of “Finding homes for orphan children and supplying homemakers for families with an ill or absent mother.”

Before World War II, JFS helped Jewish families new to the country acculturate to life in Detroit and provided assistance to ensure their safety and well-being. After the Holocaust, JFS’s work changed dramatically, as the agency worked tirelessly to resettle and serve the material and psychological needs of Holocaust survivors. In subsequent years, JFS joined with local and national partners to resettle thousands of Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union.

Most recently, JFS has provided a critical lifeline to Metro Detroit community members affected by the recession, and today, has evolved into a comprehensive human service provider, helping individuals and families within the Jewish and broader communities.